phugthal Travel Guide

Phugtal is also known as Phuktal and is a key attraction of Ladakh. It is located on the South-East side of the union territory. The monastery of Phugtal is constructed on the mouth of a cave on a cliff and is considered to be one of the most isolated regions of the union territory. The monastery is believed to be more than 2500 years old.

If you were to talk about the most isolated places in Ladakh, the list is becoming smaller and smaller, year after year. But Phugtal is still considered to be an interesting place having a spectacular monastery and sub-establishments on a cliff. The entire establishment is also in front of the mouth of a cave giving it a completely different vibe and setup. To reach the Phugtal Complex, one has to take a short but steep trek which enthralls the visitors a lot; especially the avid adventurers. 

The entire complex is located high on the Shadi Canyon that happens to be a major tributary of Lingti-Tsarap. Though this part is still not on the go-to list of many travelers, it forms a majestic part of the Zanskar Valley. The foundation of this monastery dates back to the 12th Century and it still remains an eye arresting location from the inside as well. 

Insight about Phugtal

Phugtal Monastery or Phugtal Gompa that is also known as Phuktal monastery and is one of the prime attractions of Zanskar Region. It is located in the southeastern part of Zanskar in Ladakh and the Phuktal Trek is what intrigues and steers people to visit here. It was founded by Gangsem Sherap Sampo during the early 12th century that makes it at least 2500 years old. This building has a distinctive construction as it is built on a cliff in the honeycomb pattern. 

It is situated on the mouth of a cave, over the cliff top, it is close to a major tributary of the river Lungnak (Lingti-Tsarap). This monastery, which has a library as well as prayer rooms, houses around 70 monks. This one of the most isolated monasteries of the region is made up of wood and mud. One can find a lot of similarities between Phugtal monastery and some parts of Alchi and Tabo monasteries. 

Location of Phugtal

Keeping Phugtal monastery as the pole point, it is in the Zanskar Region which is 7 km from Padum-Manali trekking trail. 

How to reach Phugtal

As already discussed, Phugtal is located in Zanskar and is towards the isolated part of the region. The place is easily accessible from the Padum-Manali route. There is a 7 km trail that starts from the Purney Bridge’s main route. While you take a trip to the Phugtal Monastery there are multiple things that come enroute including Bardan Muney and other monasteries too. The entire route is a refreshing and amazing 5-day hike if you start from Padum and end at the same place. 

Best time to visit Phugtal

Undoubtedly, the best time to visit Phugtal is between July and September because this is the exact time when one can enjoy their time trekking.

Tourist Attractions in Phugtal

Apart from the trek and the monasteries en-route, Phugtal has several things that can keep you engaged. And one of the most important of them all is the Phugtal Monastery itself. Made out of mud and wood, the monastery has a library and 4 prayer halls. If you move towards the old chapel, you will find it decorated with frescoes and ceiling. Don’t forget to visit Bardan and other monasteries. 

Staying options in Phugtal

As we already know that Phugtal is located in the isolated regions of Leh Ladakh, it doesn’t receive many visitors. Therefore the options that are available here are limited and close to none. The availability of accommodation in Phugtal is in the monastery itself. But do not bank on this because it completely depends on the monks for arranging the accommodation which can be subject to a lot of things.

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